Queensryche will be happy to see 2012 come to an end -- but partly because the Seattle rock troupe is excited about what's coming in 2013.
The group's year turned dramatic in April, when members voted to fire the band's manager, lead singer Geoff Tate's wife Susan, along with Tate's stepdaughter Miranda, who was running Queensryche's fan club. Tate wound up leaving the band following a violent pre-show altercation in Brazil.
The upshot is there are now two Queensryches, which will be the case until next November, when courts decide who holds absolute rights to the group's name.
"Its been a massive kind of whirlwind for the bands," acknowledges drummer Scott Rockenfield, 49, whose Queensryche includes fellow co-founders guitarist Michael Wilton and bassist Eddie Jackson, as well as new frontman Todd La Torre from Crimson Glory. "But everything has been somewhat of a relief, too. We wanted to start doing better business as a band, and now we have new management, agents, PR people.
"It's kind of a big team effort now. We didn't really have that for many years, which was one of the reasons we wanted to move on from what our situation had been. We're overseeing everything, but now we can focus on what we do best, which is making music, performing shows, getting to know our fans and reviving what made Queensryche so special from our first days."
The group has just started recording a new album with producer James "Jimbo" Barton, who was an engineer on Queensryche's popular "Operation: Mindcrime" and "Empire" albums. Rockenfield is predicting "the best record we've made in 20 years" and hopes for a mid-2013 release -- which, he feels, will help fortify the group's claim to the Queensryche name.
"For us it's business as usual," Rockenfield says. "There's litigation in process, and we feel we're three of four owners who feel we have the right to go out and proceed and do business as Queensryche.
"So for now we feel what we're doing is totally justified. We're having fun, and the fans seem to be having fun with the shows we're doing. We're getting pretty much global, vocal support across the board for what we're doing, so that's pushing us to keep going, too."
The End of the World Tour show with Queensryche, Vince Neil and others scheduled for Friday, Dec. 21, at Detroit's Masonic Temple has been canceled. Refunds are available at the point of purchase.
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